In the almost twelve years since our Italian migration, we’ve never had a proper Halloween. We’ve dressed up and gone to parties, but because we lived in Centro Storico and, until the last few years, Italian kids didn’t really “do” Halloween, there was never the chance to give out candy and do funny, spooky stuff.

This year, we were happy to discover that most of our neighbors give out candy. A lot of Italians do not approve of observing All Hallows Eve, certain Catholics in particular. I guess our neighbors are the easy-going kind (like my parents).

It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to make our house look spooky – we spent less than an hour or so creepifying the ground floor with wire and a glowing pink neon tube, piped in a scratchy record haunted house soundtrack, and bought the “good stuff” for our trick-or-treaters: bite-sized versions of Snickers, Mars Bars and Twix (full-size out of the question- we’re not millionaires). I put green screens on our computer monitors so the first floor windows emitted an eerie light, as well. The kids loved it.

Steve was teaching in centro and missed the first wave, but he came home to a very spooky scene. He even managed to treat a few stragglers in between sneaking candy bars for himself. Next year, we’ll be pumping up the volume. Halloween is back!